If you want to know answers to questions like how big the universe is, what everything is made of and whether time-travel is possible, then A level physics is for you! Although physicists have made huge progress in answering many questions, there is still plenty to find out about...

Studying A level physics expands the options of learners. As well as being needed for many careers in science and engineering, the skills and knowledge that students can develop by studying physics keep the door open to doing just about everything else.

Why study physics?

Physics will help you to build up your problem solving, research and analytical skills. With these skills you will be able to test out new ideas plus question and investigate other people’s theories, which is useful for any kind of job that involves research or debate.


A level Physics

Awarding body


Entry requirements

Grade 5 or above in English. Grade 6 or above in Maths or Physics triple award or Science Dual Award

Year 12

Particles and Radiation – Introduces students both to the fundamental properties of matter, and to electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena

Waves – Characteristics, properties and applications of travelling waves and stationary waves

Mechanics and Materials – Understanding of forces, energy and momentum. The section continues with a study of materials considered in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength

Electricity – This section builds on and develops earlier study of these phenomena from GCSE.

Year 13

Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics – Circular motion and simple harmonic motion.

Fields and their Consequences – The ideas of gravitation, electrostatics and magnetic field theory are developed within the topic.

Nuclear Physics – Properties of the nucleus to the production of nuclear power through the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei and the link between energy and mass.

Astrophysics (Option Module) – Fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the Universe.


Three written examinations at the end of Year 13. At least 15% of the written papers will assess knowledge and understanding of practical skills. 40% of the papers will assess mathematical skills.

Practical endorsement – students will complete a minimum of 12 practical activities to demonstrate practical competence.

I enjoy A level physics because the lessons are engaging and by combining it with your knowledge of Maths, it sets you on a solid foundation to be able to do lots of careers in the future.
Year 12 student